A Buddhist monk, a tech executive, a scientist, and a consultant walk into a conference…

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Now multiply that by 500 and add inventors, social entrepreneurs, yoga teachers, venture capitalists, and business coaches and you’ve got the Wisdom 2.0 conference: 2000 inspired people mingling and connecting in conversations about how to live according to our deepest values in the midst of an increasingly distracted, interconnected, and accelerating human experience.

I have been to many conferences and this one is by far my favorite. Part business conference, part transformational workshop, and part family reunion; this gathering is like nothing I have ever experienced anywhere else. There are three things that make this gathering stand out from other conferences:

1. The cutting-edge speakers and content

  • Buddhist teacher and Zen priest, Joan Halifax Roshi speaking about bringing compassion into our every moment
  • Author, Pico Ayer discussing how to enjoy stillness in our busy lives
  • LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner speaking of the importance of compassion in the workplace
  • Michael Gervais, a trainer for Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks, discussing how mindfulness practices fit into a championship team’s ongoing activities

2. A community of people open and available for connection and conversation

Wisdom 2.0 has a special sense of openness. There is no inner circle-outer circle dynamic that seems to accompany large business conferences and gatherings. It is a rare and remarkable opportunity for connection.

3. The sense of shared purpose

At the 2012 conference there was a large painting on display, lit from below by candles, which read, “Trust what is most alive in you and the world transforms.”

That painting’s message represents what I see as a common set of values that has most of us who attend the conference asking ourselves and each other, “What’s the deepest and most fulfilling way we can contribute to the betterment of our world?”

I’ve participated in Wisdom 2.0 for four years, now, and every time I feel like I am plugging into a big power grid of inspiration that accelerates my creative process and connects me with exactly the people that can catalyze my personal and business endeavors. I especially appreciate that there is no distinct boundary here between the personal and the professional. This is a community of people who acknowledge that all the arenas in which we work are connected, and we’re learning to bring our entire selves to the conversation.

Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend a spring weekend?

The next conference is happening February 20-22 2016, in San Francisco. Registration is currently full but if you are committed to being there you could probably find someone who has an extra ticket in the weeks prior.

To check out this year’s conference, click here. Even if you can’t make it this year, it is quite likely that they will livestream many of the speakers.

To see some of the great videos from this and previous years check out wisdom2conference.com/Videos